‘I don’t expect you to forgive me’: Former principal pleads guilty to 2 counts of 2nd-degree murder

By | March 17, 2020

The former principal of Sagkeeng Anicinabe High School pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder on Monday, for the killing of two people in 2017. 

Claude Francis Guimond was arrested after a two and a half year investigation into the deaths of Jody Brown, 43, and Steven Chevrefils, 35.

“I don’t expect you to forgive me. I took the guilty plea. I’m guilty,” said Guimond. “If I could take that night back I’d take it back in a second.”

On Feb. 28, 2017, the bodies of two men were found inside a home in the village of St. Georges Man., about 100 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. 

Guimond told the court on the night of the killing he painted his face black, dressed in camouflage, and after drinking for days says he went to the shared home of Brown and Chevrefils with a rifle. 

There were several other people in the house at the time, which the court heard was being used to sell drugs, including a marijuana grow operation in the basement. 

That basement is where Guimond confronted the two victims. 

Brown was found shot in the chest downstairs, while Chevrefils had run upstairs and was found on the kitchen floor with shots to the head and chest. 

On Feb. 28, 2017, the bodies of the two men were found inside a home in the village of St. Georges Man., about 100 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.  (Gary Solilak/CBC)

A ricocheted bullet also grazed a woman in the head, nearly ending in another fatality.

“He went there to put a scare into the individuals. He did so with a high power rifle,” said Crown prosecutor Chris Vanderhooft. 

Guimond said his memory was compromised, and while he remembers causing harm, he couldn’t remember what exactly happened. 

Act of vengeance

The defence said Guimond’s actions were an act of vigilantism against the drug trade in his community, which impacted his family including some of his children. 

RCMP originally charged two others, including Guimond’s daughter, with the deaths but those charges were later dropped. 

DNA found on a bullet shell casing and on the hands of Chevrefils later led RCMP to Guimond. 

Using a wire tap, RCMP were able to record an admission from Guimond on the phone while he was speaking to family members. 

Guimond addressed the courtroom saying, “I know I’ve deprived two good families of their family members. I’ve deprived my family too … No amount of words are going to properly articulate how sorry I am. The remorse I feel.”  

Both the defence and the Crown prosecutor recommended that Guimond serve a life sentence with a minimum of 14 years before parole.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Brenda Keyser adjourned sentencing.

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